Before Instagram, a model had to book jobs through attending castings, word of mouth, or agencies; now there’s a way for companies to seek you out through your social media following making it more competitive and (potentially) more lucrative. Building your following is one key element, but what happens when you’re ready to start partnering with brands? How do you reach out to companies? How will they find you? When will you start seeing that cash money!?
The first step in building your brand is knowing what your brand/business model will be. By asking yourself important questions about what you value, you have the advantage to figure out which companies you are able to target for modeling opportunities.
Some important questions to ask are:
- What style does your website/social media primarily stick to?
- What companies fit with who you are as a person?
- What are their models/influencers like? Do they fit with your brand?
- What is important to you and what do you look for in companies?
- What can you contribute to a company?
- Are there any causes you find yourself more concerned with than others (i.e. environmental protection, body positivity, etc.) and what companies are doing what you care about successfully?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses and how can I grow with the company and how can I bring my strengths to the table?
After asking yourself what you can bring to the table, put together a list of companies who meet what you’re looking for. It’s a tedious process, but you can do it! When you’re looking at companies, focus on style and theme of their social media. Don’t just look at their Instagram or Facebook, but their actual website, pricing, customer service, and reviews to get the full picture. Do you see this company becoming more successful? Could you grow with the company? Get together a list of ten or so companies that you feel you’re able to work with at your current skill level.
Awesome! You found some companies! Time to put together some books! When submitting a book to a company (or future client), you need to focus on style/theme. Each company should have a different book that showcases what you can offer.
From a models perspective, it’s important to pull what you have that’s similar to the products offered os you can show what you would potentially look like in those products. Have professional photos taken of you to make sure the companies see you work with professionals and that you would bring high quality images to their social media and website. If you’re sending work to an athletic company, make sure you take photos where you’re active, but showcasing their product. When I’m submitting to larger companies, I include gifs and videos showing I also know how to move and show off the product.
When your books are ready it’s time to complete the final step: reaching out to companies. PROFESSIONALISM. PROFESSIONALISM. PROFESSIONALISM. I cannot stress this enough. Properly titling and addressing your emails is step one. Sir/Madame or name of the person you’re specifically emailing (with proper spelling) proves you actually care about your email. Keep in mind when you’re emailing these companies, they don’t have time for unprofessional emails, you have to make sure your message is simple, clean and to the point. All your images included should be the same size, in high quality and clearly labeled for easy viewing. Give one last review your email for typos and grammatical errors to make sure your emails are perfect for sending out!
Don’t be afraid to follow up or, if the company says they’re not currently looking, submit again with a updated book. Companies will send you contracts to sign and review when modeling/representing their brand in a professional capacity. Always be reaching out to companies and when you post tag all the brands to make sure you’re being seen. Even if they only repost an image, it leads other brands like the larger brand to reach out and want to work with you!